Acts of Kindness Countdown to Thanksgiving

In the past we have participated in the 30 Days of Gratitude for November (Where you make a Turkey out of two foam balls wrapped in yard, then each day you add a feather made from construction paper attached to a popsicle stick- write what you are thankful for on the feather, & then press it into the Turkey….thus having a full turkey at the end. This activity is perfect for toddlers and preschoolers!), and have done the Acts of Kindness Countdown to Thanksgiving and the children seem to favor the latter.

The idea is kind of similar to an Advent calendar. However instead of a piece of candy each day there is an act of kindness for the children to complete. Here is a pic of ours, it is very plain, very simple….we purchased the countdown drawers from Hobby Lobby (they were 40% off, Score!!), kiddos added the leaves, & done!

actsofkindness

Our lives are very busy and seem to only be getting busier by the day as the Holidays approach. So the key is to not overcomplicate the acts of kindness. There is not a one size fits all type of list, customize to your family’s needs. You know how much time you can allot each day and your budget. Here is our list, please feel free to use the exact same list, substitute, alter, etc. I will tell you, whenever possible add any funds that might be required ahead of time to the drawer & have items needed for the weeks acts of kindness on hand, it makes the process much smoother and less stressful for mom, or dad, but mostly mom.

 

actsofkindness2

Acts of Kindness List:

  1. Pick up trash at the neighborhood park (There might be a lot after trick-or-treating)
  2. Clean out the car
  3. Leave quarters at the Laundry Mat (Include bag of quarters in drawer)
  4. Donate Socks to Hannah’s Socks http://www.hannahssocks.org/sock-drop-off-locations/
  5. Make Thank You notes for the Crossing Guard
  6. Pay for the persons order behind you in a drive-thru (Kids get a kick out of this one!)
  7. Help rake leaves
  8. Organize & serve dinner at The Beach House Family Shelter
  9. Mail an “I am thinking of you” card to a relative to lift their spirits
  10. Pack a shoebox for Samaritans Purse’s Operation Christmas Child (Add money for each child & then take them to the dollar store to fill their shoe box) https://www.samaritanspurse.org/what-we-do/operation-christmas-child/
  11. Help a sibling with one of their chores today
  12. Donate coloring books and crayons to the Ronald McDonald House
  13. Give Muffins to the Mailman with a thank you note (Or a gift card to Tim Horton’s so they can pick out their own treat)
  14. Drop off Hersey’s Hugs for Hospice
  15. Make an effort to smile today, they are contagious!!
  16. Take a treat to the First Responders
  17. Write uplifting messages with chalk on the sidewalk for all the passers-by
  18. Spend quality time with a loved one
  19. Go through books and donate some to the Library
  20. Donate a Toy to Toys-for-Tots (Via eBay, http://toysfortots.org/donate/?gclid=CPrRmLvc-M8CFUtahgod26AOaw )
  21. Write a thank you note to your teacher
  22. Help tidy house
  23. Let your sibling borrow your favorite toy/device
  24. THANKSGIVING DAY!!! – A special thank you from Mom & Dad! I am sending the kids on a small treasure hunt around the house/yard to retrieve 3 clues. The last clue will lead them to their Thanksgiving Bags; each bag will be filled with fun activities (coloring sheets, crafts, fun turkey glasses, etc.) to occupy them during Thanksgiving meal, dessert, etc.

 

We like to reveal ours the night before, that way the kids can sleep on it. Thus we will begin ours Halloween night. And then each night following the children will take turns uncovering the Act of Kindness for the next day. If time permits we will take a moment and discuss the act of kindness to make certain it is comprehended accurately and to listen to children’s suggestions. Then the next day while running kids around we will discuss how they accomplished the act of kindness….ask them how it made them feel, how they think it made the other person feel, and any addition questions associated with the act….in an effort to make it more of an experience, not a chore.

Does your family have a similar tradition around this time of year? Do you have any suggestions for additional acts of Kindness? Was there an act of kindness you did or received from someone who had a strong impact on your life? Please share…

 

 

Acts of Kindness Countdown to Thanksgiving

Last November our family lived 30 days of Gratitude which was extremely fulfilling.  This November we are doing something similar but this time there will be more order to the activity and the children are involved in preparing the activity…Acts of Kindness Countdown to Thanksgiving!

The idea is kind of similar to an Advent calendar. However in addition to a piece of candy each day there is also an act of kindness for the children to engage.  First things first…assembling an Acts of Kindness Countdown to Thanksgiving….

What you will need:

  • 1 mini 24 count muffin tin/pan
  • 4 sheets of construction paper (let kiddos select colors, need two colors)
  • 1 bag candy corn or equivalent sized candy pieces
  • 22 Adhesive dots (Scotch has great ones)
  • Thanksgiving themed stickers
  • 22 Acts of Kindness (See our list below…feel free to add, or alter the list so that it is age appropriate for your children. Ours is geared more towards our 5 and 6 year olds.)

Acts of Kindness List:

  1. Make an afterschool snack for your sibling.
  2. Put together a fun package for friends who live out-of-town. Make a card; include stickers, and other fun activities.
  3. Help clean out the pantry. Put all canned goods in a pile to be donated to the shelter.
  4. Give someone a compliment.
  5. Organize your clothes and place the ones that no longer fit in a pile and you and mommy can donate them to a clothing drive or shelter.
  6. Hold the door for someone; allow them to enter the building first.
  7. Go through your toys and books and those that you no longer use will be donated to children in need.
  8. Help around the house without being asked to do so, such as cleaning your room, the family room, or arts & craft drawers.
  9. Help your sister or brother with something in a kind manner.
  10. Teach your sibling how to do something, to put their shoes on, a crafts, trick, etc.
  11. Visit or call a relative or family friend that you do not see often.
  12. Make and Send a Random Card of Kindness to an ill child. http://loveletterscares.org
  13. Help mommy make dinner for a relative or family friend.
  14. Write a letter to a soldier and send to http://Kidz4Troops.org
  15. Get out your crayons and color one of the coloring pages found on Color A Smile and then send it to Color a Smile where it will be distributed to the elderly in a Nursing Homes or through Meals on Wheels Programs.  http://www.colorasmile.org/coloring.html
  16. Help organize books in the book shelf.
  17. Read an extra story with mommy. (Or read to mommy, if old enough).
  18. Help pack a Shoe Box filled with items for Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child.  http://www.samaritanspurse.org/index.php/OCC/Pack_A_Shoe_Box/
  19. Praise your siblings or a classmate when they do something kind.
  20. Kids Choice (allow your child to come up with their own Act of Kindness)
  21. Purchase mittens and hats to donate to the homeless shelter.
  22. Help mommy collect and drop off donations to the animal shelter.

Instructions:

Please encourage your kiddos to participate in the assembling of the Acts of Kindness Countdown to Thanksgiving.  By doing so they have the opportunity to practice and sharpen up on their fine motor skills, patterns, sequencing, addition, subtraction, etc. (steps towards writing, reading comprehension, and practicing math skills).

  1. Print off the Acts of Kindness list and cut each into one strip.
  2. Have children trace circles on the construction paper (we used the bottom of a cup as our template).
  3. Cut circles out.
  4. Have children place stickers on the circles.
  5. Have children place circles on the table in patterns. Have some fun with this, take your time and see how many different types of patterns they can create.
  6. Have children wash their hands and then open candy corn or equivalent sized pieces of candy, package. Then take a few minutes and have some fun with math!  Do some simple addition… place 5 pieces of candy on the table and then add 3 more, ask your child how many there are?  Then subtract two from the table and ask your child how many are left.  If you have older kiddos have some fun with multiplication!  Add five pieces to each cubby in the first row; have them multiply 4 x 5 and then check their work by actually counting out each piece of candy.
  7. Once you are finished having some fun with math have children count out however many you wish to include in each cubby (we included 3 pieces in each because all three of them will be participating in the countdown, so each will receive one piece of candy each day)
  8. Then have them roll up each Act of Kindness and place one in each cubby. (Well, 22 of the cubbies since Thanksgiving in on the 22nd, or adjust to your liking…24 days).
  9. Then place one Scotch adhesive dot at the top of each circle. And place circles over the cubbies thus hiding the candy and Act of Kindness.

Then each day have the children take turns uncovering the Act of Kindness for the day. Take a moment and discuss the act of kindness with your child/children to make certain it is comprehended accurately and then later in the day (we like to do this over the dinner table) discuss how they accomplished the act of kindness. Ask them how it made them feel, how they think it made the other person feel, and any addition questions associated with the act.

Does your family have a similar tradition around this time of year? Do you have any suggestions for additional acts of Kindness?  Was there an act of kindness you did or received from someone who had a strong impact on your life? Please share…